Essential elements of crime
I) Act or Omission: can be any bodily movement.
A) Conduct ¹ criminal if ¹ volition
i) Reflexive or convulsive acts (like seizure)
ii) Act while unconscious or sleep walking.
B) No legal duty to rescue; sometimes duty to act
ii) contract (lifeguard)
iii) relationship b/n parties
iv) voluntarily assumed duty to someone else and failing to adequately perform it.
v) conduct created the peril.
II) Mental state: mens rea (30% of Qs)
A) Specific intent: Qualifies for additional defenses
i) In choate offenses:
ii) First degree murder
(1) Distinguish from “murder” which refers to 2nd degree & ¹ specific intent crime.
iv) Common law felonies against property:
(3) False pretenses
C) General intent: most crimes here
i) Transferred intent (guilty of 2 crimes)
(1) Murder of person you hit
(2) Attempted murder of person you missed
D) Strict liability:
i) Defenses that negates intention ¹ apply
ii) If the crime is in the administrative, regulatory, or morality area and statute does not include adverbs (knowingly, intentionally), then = SL crime.
III) Accomplice liability:
A) Accomplices are liability for the crime itself and all other foreseeable crimes.
hen the person agrees to do it, à merges into a conspiracy.
B) Conspiracy: people must be pursuing an unlawful objective.
(a) Does not have to be express
(b) Co-conspirators can be strangers
(c) Majority rule requires an overt act. (any little act suffices, like showing up at place agreed to rob).
(d) Minority rule and CL rule don’t require overt act.
(2) Intent to agree
(3) Intent to pursue unlawful objective
ii) Conspiracy does NOT merge with the substantive offense.
iii) Co-conspirators liable for all crimes of co-conspirators if committed in furtherance of the conspiracy & were foreseeable.
(1) Impossibility ¹ defense
(2) Cant ever withdraw from conspiracy liability, but can from liability for other co-conspirators crimes.
i) Attempt = specific intent + substantial step beyond mere preparation in direction of commission of the crime.
ii) Mere preparation¹ attempt
A) McNaughton Defense: at time of his conduct he lacked ability to know the wrongfulness of his action or understand the nature of his conduct
B) Irresistible impulse: D lacked capacity for self control and free choice
C) Durham rule: Ds conduct is product of a mental illness